Introduction: How to Build a Cardboard Rocket Ship

My son asked Santa for a "real rocket ship" this Christmas to take the family to the moon. Santa has trouble getting rocket fuel this time of year so this is how I built a cardboard rocket.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

To make this you will need;
- A large refrigerator box.
- Misc. tools(box cutter, tape measure, straight edge, pencil, jigsaw)
- Three cans of gray spray paint
- A little imagination

Step 2: The Build

Begin by cutting and laying flat the box. My dimensions were based on the size of my box so you may have to make adjustments.

Using a straight edge, mark and cut out the top angles and tabs. Each panel is 2 feet wide because my box was 12 feet total.

The tabs are 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. The receiving side is 2 inches wide. I made the receiving slot cuts by just eyeing up the tab locations when I stood it up. Widen the slots a little bit to make it easier to insert the tabs.

Run a blunt tool down the cardboard to help make the folds where you want them to be.

Using any circular object you like, trace and cut out any windows you would like.

The fins are about 2 feet high with one tab the same as above. (Sorry no picture)

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Spray paint the outside any color you want. I primed the areas with writing but it isn't really necessary(it's just a cardboard toy remember) Be careful not to apply too much paint or the cardboard might warp. Using a sharpie I made a few rivets and other lines on the ship. Use your imagination and even get your kids help to make your (I mean their) rocket ship cool.

For extra points I went online and found a website with a drawing of a real lunar module's cockpit. I "borrowed" a few images and printed them out.

I hope this instructable will give you ideas to do something with all those cardboard boxes after Christmas. Before recycling them of course!

-After folding up and moving the rocket a few times I have noticed the paint coming off onto my hand. So painting it might not be a great idea.
-The door has taken a beating, so some packing or duct tape is recommended for support.

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